When the murals for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days event are coming thick and fast, it is easy perhaps to not pay attention properly or to become a little blazé because of the wealth of riches. A piece like this on any high-street would be greeted with amazement, but here in Bedminster (the centre of Upfest activities) it blends in, becoming part of the furniture. It is my job to single out such pieces and study them and share them. This large mural is by Sophie Rae above Flip, a vegan delicatessen and shop on North Street.
Sophie Rae is a Mural artist and print maker based in Bristol who likes to work with natural plant themes interwoven with contemporary shapes, colours and designs to bring a very 2020s look to her murals. The job she has done on this very large wall is quite exceptional and really captures the vibrant Bedminster scene. I will definitely be hunting down some of her other murals.
Here we have another outstanding piece from that man Sepr painted as part of the funday Sunday paint jam in the tunnel a couple of weekends ago. There are so many memorable pieces from this event that it would take me a long while to get them all written up. I have selected a few, and the rest will have to wait for a while or longer.
Sepr has really smashed it with this amusing piece in which a king character is preparing to sit down on a throne, and a little mouse is either being a loyal subject and placing the chair under the king, or is being mischievous and removing said chair. I wonder if the golden character is a reference to Goldie who had made the journey to Bristol to join in with the paint jam. A fun piece.
Maybe has made Brunel Way his spiritual home and several of the columns holding up the dual carriageway bear the delightful small pieces created by the relative newcomer. Although Maybe has branched out into a couple of other spots, the vast majority of his work is here.
Two more of his pieces are featured in this post. It seems a little unfair that I bunch them together, but he is so prolific that if I didn’t post two at a time, some might never get posted at all. This first one is a sensational colour burst of faces in a circular pattern and in rainbow sequence, although there is an extra blue/green colour included for good measure and symmetry.
The second piece combines the egg character he painted before with his planetscape that he has been developing to great effect over recent weeks. Curious and compelling. I recommend a trip to this spot which has become a bit of a gallery of Maybe’s work.
I am very tempted to end the post at this point and just leave you to enjoy the pictures, but that would be a bit lazy on my part and short-changing you of my talents as a street art rapporteur (LOL). This piece is by genius artist Liam Bononi.
I haven’t encountered Liam Bononi before, but he is firmly on my radar now and I will be keeping an eye out for his extraordinary work.he has a fabulous website, and in his ‘About’ section there is a link to a short biographic video, which is well worth a quick watch if you have time. Liam is a Brizilian, now living in Liverpool, who started painting walls in 2007 and has decorated walls all over the world. Now is the turn for Bristol.
In his biography, the following sentence stands out as best describing what lies behind his paintings:
His pieces represent the quest for the divine essence that inhabits each one of us and his art is a narrative about the human beings’ transformation through self-knowledge and search of the self true (sic).
Heady stuff, but then this is a heady piece and one of the most compelling I have ever seen at Upfest. Liam Bononi has just set the bar at a new level. My advice… seek out his work whenever you can.
It was most gratifying to see this lovely piece from SkyHigh at Greenbank, which he rattled off while he was in town painting his Upfest mural. I met him when he was painting the Upfest piece and he asked me where he could paint a little extra one, and so I pointed him in the direction of Greenbank and hey presto! here it is. I haven’t posted his Upfest piece yet, because none of my pictures so far are up to much.
SkyHigh, apart from being a really nice bloke is an immensely talented writer and wildlife artist, and we are blessed that he has visited Bristol a few times over the years, but to see his best work you need to go to London and Leake Street in particular. The niche that he has perfected is creating his SkyHigh moniker with block letters, each designed differently, giving a kind of collage effect. This is a supreme piece of graffiti writing from one of the masters of his craft.
Skronius is an artist whose work I have only ever seen up at Purdown Battery, and I know very little about him. I like what I have seen though, and his style is very illustrative and looks more like canvas work than a spray-painted wall. The Bristol artist I would most liken him to is Conrico.
There is a lot to like in this small piece in which a skeleton (just the skull really) is advancing to cause mischief, no doubt. The colour selections are superb, with the subtle purples creating shadows, rather than black. Skronius has signed the piece with some lovely calligraphic writing (Stivs had better watch out). I am hungry for more from Skronius, and perhaps in some other locations.
I feel another ear worm coming on. What is it with these street artists and music anyway…? Inkie has returned to his native Bristol to paint for Upfest, as he does every year and this time he was handed a nice new wall to play with.
I have a feeling that Kylie sand this line followed with ‘na na naa, na na na na na, na na naa’ if my memory serves me well. I suspect that Inkie’s reference might be a different one. The piece itself is rather special, with the words written out in the big hair of the female character, and a lot of mystery in the air. No features on the woman’s face and a question mark medallion around her neck. I’m not sure hat the reference ’84 21′ is, although that might be the dates that Inkie started painting and today.
Although the basic design ideas are there from Inkie, I feel like the piece is a bit of a departure from his normal style, particularly the block letters. Excellent stuff.